Investor’s Business Daily: “Stop The Brooklyn Madrassa”

Posted Friday, August 24, 2007 4:20 PM PT

Homeland Security: Oops, New York officials hired a pro-jihad radical to run a controversial new Arabic academy. The principal quit after critics outed her. What else don’t officials know?

Protesters last week picketed outside the public school, demanding the city abandon plans to open it next month. Local assemblymen have fired off angry letters to the New York City education department to protest the school’s opening.

But it hasn’t deterred PC officials, who say they’re “confident” the Khalil Gibran International Academy will not become the Islamic “madrassa” that critics fear.

Their confidence is curious. Just this month, they saw the “moderate” principal they picked to head the school resign under the heat of a simple background check they failed to conduct.

Turns out Dabah Almontaser, a Yemeni native, shares offices with an Islamist group that sells T-shirts encouraging New York Muslims to join the “intifada” – a Palestinian campaign of terror that has left 1,221 Israelis dead. Asked about it, Almontaser defended the intifada, outraging New Yorkers.

She’s gone now, thankfully. But her hand-picked advisers and curriculum are still in place.

Who are these advisers? One is a local imam by the name of Talib Abdul-Rashid. He preaches at the Mosque of Islamic Brotherhood in Harlem. A simple visit to the mosque’s Web site reveals its mission:

“Allah is our goal. The prophet Muhammad is our leader. The Quran is our constitution. Jihad is our way. And death in the way of Allah is our promised end.”

This mirrors the motto of the dangerous Muslim Brotherhood, a worldwide jihadist movement that gave rise to Hamas and al-Qaida.

Have school officials bothered to check Abdul-Rashid’s Web site?

Almontaser’s curriculum includes a mentoring program in which local Muslim and Arab leaders will involve students in “community activism.” (Trips to the Middle East and internships with Muslim lawyers also are planned.) How much influence will Abdul-Rashid and other local imams have?

Before Almontaser was defrocked, Abdul-Rashid defended her against critics.

In a letter to the New York Sun, he and other advisers insisted that any “suspicions of anti-Zionism . . . are simply erroneous.”

Of course, such suspicions have since been borne out by Almontaser herself.

Seems those pushing the school have not acted in good faith, and may be selling the taxpaying public a bill of goods.

As for the curriculum, school officials insist the KGaA school will educate students about Islamic culture and Arabic, but will not promote Islam.

Protesters doubt it. They say Muhammad will be among historical figures examined as part of the instruction on Middle Eastern culture. Indeed, it would be impossible to separate Arabic culture from Islam.

Sara Springer, a Brooklyn teacher who heads the “Stop the Madrassa Coalition,” says textbooks and other teaching materials will be supplied by the Saudi-tied Council on Islamic Education. Its chief consultant is on the Saudi government payroll.

Springer wonders if maps used in the classroom will blot out Israel. Many Islamic schools in America show “Blessed Palestine” in its place.

“I am very concerned that the school will be a madrassa, funded by taxpayer dollars,” she said. “We will in effect be supporting the training of future terrorist cells.”

The head of New York schools vows to shut the school down if it promotes jihad. He says it will be monitored. Yet top personnel weren’t even screened. What makes anyone think classes will be monitored? If they are taught in Arabic, how can officials detect jihadi indoctrination?

The best way to ensure the school won’t be used as a madrassa simply is not to open it.

3 Responses to “Investor’s Business Daily: “Stop The Brooklyn Madrassa””

  1. G. Duggins Says:

    Even if the proposed KGIA were universally felt to be an appropriate educational institution with not the slightest conceivable connection to terrorism or anything remotely illegal, it would nevertheless STILL still be DISCRIMINATORY to fund it PUBLICLY unless & until plans were ALSO made for. . .

    . . . the opening of public schools which teach Greek and Greek history and culture; French and French history and culture; Asian languages and Asian history and culture; Hebrew and Jewish history and culture; Turkish and Turkish language and culture; Modern Hebrew and Israeli history and culture; Portuguese and South American history and culture; and … etc.

    In addition, to justify KGIA, the school system would also have to stand ready to fund, with taxpayer money, any and every school demanded by ANY other ethnic minority, no matter how small — since both the tax and political systems of this state and of the nation are supposed to operate on the principle that members of minority groups, no matter how small, have precisesly the same rights in the eyes of government as all others.

    The point is that language and other instruction in all or most of the above subjects is already available PRIVATELY, either for a price or for free in many instances. It is NOT the proper function of the PUBLIC school system to cater to every sub-culture, but to make available the teaching of the GENERAL types of skills necessary IN COMMON, FOR ANY TAXPAYERS’ children to function in our society (such as reading, writing, arithmetic, plus the history of our COMMON culture and its heritage, plus other general and elective subjects of a COMMON potential use to any person intending to live, function, and support himself in this society as it currently exists). HIGHLY SPECIFIC courses in the UNCOMMON language, history, culture, arts, crafts, literature, crafts, etc. of specific minority groups within our general society are the appropriate purview of the private sector, NOT of publicly funded education, which anyone is free to avail himself of or which any group is free to provide, in addition to the GENERAL education provided to them for free with taxpayer funds. The mission of and “raison d’etre” of public schools is after all to assure that even the poor amongst us will be provided education in the basic skills necessary to function and succeed in our society.

    If the Arab community wants its children to learn the Arabic language, history & culture, and if there is a really genuine and serious felt need for this, then it will be profitable for someone to fund private schools offering these subjects and whatever else is sufficiently wanted by that community. Such private education is available in NY and elsewhere, and regularly taken advantage of by those who want it.

    But it is PARTICULARLY UNFAIR & UNJUST to FORCE all taxpayers to spend some part of their lives working to pay the taxes necessary to provide such instruction to ONE small SPECIAL INTEREST group being granted a unique privilege by the school system at the expense of all others, a school which the vast majority of those footing its bill will never want to use, while simultaneously making it less affordable for the majority of other taxpayers to send their children to private schools for similar instruction because of their reduced financial condition via the FORCED EXPROPRIATION of their earned money to subsidize the desires of this SINGLE ONE of the great many SPECIAL INTERESTS various parents have.

    Every minority group has its own unique “SPECIAL INTERESTS” and the private sector has always provided them throughout our nation’s history. It is not appropriate to tax us all to the point where it interferes with our ability to obtain our own special desires in this area, in order to grant this privilege FREE to just one SPECIAL INTEREST group. The KGIA most definitely does NOT represent equality under the law, but rather the INSTITUTION OF SPECIAL PRIVILEGE. Public funding of the KGIA, in short, is a VIOLATION OF the root principle of DEMOCRACY, and an ENSHRINEMENT OF the principles of a society based on SPECIAL PRIVILEGE(s), disbursed at the discretion of the political power elite.

    As such, KGIA should be abhorred, denounced, and disassembled as quickly as possible, and the officials responsible for dreaming up the idea should be summarily removed from any position of authority over matters involving public education or spending of public funds.

  2. G. Duggins Says:


    I would like to add to my previous post, the following:

    In lieu of summary dismissal of all public officials who have advocated or worked for the creation of the KGIA, perhaps a less onerous policy might be to enable them to keep their positions provided they fulfill 3 conditions:

    1. Complete a set of remedial courses in the meaning, history, and legal precedents of constitutional minority rights;

    2. Complete a set of remedial courses in the meaning, history, and legal precedents of the constitutional mandate for “equal treatment under the law;”

    3. Take remedial training in the proper use of public funds in accord with the above 2 principles;


    4. Re-imburse the state treasury for the pro-rata share of their salaries & benefits expended during the portion of their official time spent on this project.

    If the public officials cannot find appropriate remedial courses, then perhaps they should consider as a top priority the creation of a special public school that offers these subjects in addition to the regular curriculum, since proper knowledge of these subjects — unlike those to be taught at KGIA — would in fact be in the universal interest of all taxpayers, and thus consistent with the appropriate principles of public education.

  3. serrob Says:

    If there is to be an Islamic “PUBLIC” school, then there should be a Catholic “PUBLIC” school.

    However, both are in direct violation of 1 very important constitution” SEPARATION OF CHURCH FROM STATE!!!

    ALL ISLAMIC, AS WELL AS ALL OTHER RELIGIOUS PUBLIC SCHOOLS MUST BE SHUT DOWN. My tax dollars absolutely should NOT be spent in Religious schools.


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